At Cuyahoga Valley Church, we explain our mission – the big picture – this way: We are inviting people to new life in Christ. We say, “Everyone. Live new. Everyday.” In a word, a person who is experiencing new life in Christ is a disciple. The Greek word for disciples is “mathetes.” It means “a learner, a pupil.” Our goal is not decisions for Christ but disciples of Christ. We aim to produce disciples, not decisions.
Being a disciple is not optional. It’s essential. Read the words of Jesus in Matthew 28:19-20.
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you (Matthew 28:19-20a).
The word “go” in Matthew 28:19-20 is actually a participle in the Greek language like the words “baptizing” and “teaching.” It could be accurately translated “as you are going.” The actual command from Jesus in the passage is to “make disciples.” Whatever a church does, the first priority must be to make disciples.
In ancient Jewish life, a disciple was sometime referred to as someone who had been covered in the dust from a teacher’s feet. There is a passage in the Mishna – the ancient record of the oral law of the Jewish people – that says, “Let your house be a gathering place for the sages. And wallow in the dust of their feet. And drink in their words with gusto” (The Neusner version of the Mishnah, p. 673).
A disciple was a person who would sit at the feet of a teacher and be so attentive that he would – figuratively speaking – be covered in dust from the teacher’s feet. That is how close a disciple wanted to be to his sage – his teacher. This is how close we should want to be to our Teacher, Jesus. And why would a disciple want to be that close? So he or she could “drink in their words with gusto.”
As you think about yourself as a disciple of Jesus, on a scale of 1-10 (10 being high) how would you rate yourself?
___ Covered in the dust of His feet.
___ Drinking in His words with gusto.
At CVC, we ask an important related and foundational question, “What does a disciple – a person who is bearing the fruit of New Life in Christ, someone covered in the dust of Jesus, someone who is drinking in Christ’s words with gusto – look like? As we look at scripture and try to put things in simple terms, one way to define New Life in Christ is by seeing if someone is a
Which area can you celebrate? In which areas do you need to experience the most growth? What changes need to take place in your life so you can grow in these areas? One way for us to seek change is through prayer.
You might want to use the following as a prayer guide:Lord Heavenly Father, I do not want to be a person who attends meeting after meeting at church but never changes. I want to be a true disciple of Christ. Help me be covered in the dust of my teacher, Jesus. May I drink in His words with gusto. Help me to experience continuous growth as a Beloved Child, a Self-feeder, a Servant, an Investor, a Discipler, and a Missionary. May I bear the Fruit of New Life as a maturing disciple of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. In His name, Amen.